Taste Test: Underground Spirits’ Ad Crescendum Native Gin
From Australia’s capital, Underground Spirits’ Ad Crescendum var Flosferam Native Gin is a mouthful in more ways than just pronunciation! It has captured the flavours of 10 native botanicals to create a real Aussie garden party of a gin.
Canberra has really picked up its craft game in recent years, with a number of small breweries and distilleries popping up in the area.
Certainly part of this change to the capital’s hospitality industry, Underground Spirits also represents an amazing relationship with local produce and native botanicals.
Using water that flows from the nearby Brindabella Mountains and a base spirit from locally sourced, sustainably grown wheat, Underground Spirits has been crafting award-winning gins and vodkas since early 2017.
Also their relationship with the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra has given Underground Spirits an almost endless range of Australian botanicals to infuse and macerate into their gins.
And Underground’s Ad Crescendum var Flosferam—translating as ‘to grow many wildflowers’—is testament to that.
About The Bottle
Probably the most unique botanicals in Ad Crescendum are the three types of banksia. So it stands to reason that this is the plant that Underground Spirits have gone with on their label.
It’s a lovely touch that, having created this relationship with the Australian National Botanic Gardens, Underground has pledged part of the proceeds from every bottle sold go back to the gardens for their conservation work, including the National Seed Bank Project.
The list of botanicals Underground Spirits have used in their Ad Crescendum var Flosferam Native Gin reads like an Australian botanist’s spotter’s journal.
Along with a base of juniper, coriander and Angelica root, there are ten Australian native botanicals, many of which we’ve never seen in gin before:
– lantern banksia (banksia spinialosa)
– hairpin banksia (banksia ericifolia)
– fern-leafed banksia (banksia oblongifolia)
– Midgen berry (austromyrtus dulcis)
– kurrajong (brachychiton populneus)
– Geraldton waxflower (chamelaucium uncinatum)
– yellow satinash (syzygium canicortex)
– lemon-scented gum (corymbia citriodora)
– magenta lilly pilly (syzygium paniculatum)
– Australian lime or dooja (citrus australis)
Having such an impressive list of lesser-known botanicals—rather than tried and tested favourites common in many gins—is it creates a bit of a paradox.
It’s hard to guess what the gin will taste like.
What we were not expecting from Ad Crescendum was the sweet, bush honey finish or the deep floral notes on the mid-palate.
But put these together with the crisp pine aromas and herbaceous first taste we were hoping for—perhaps from the banksia—and you’re left with the full package of a well-rounded, clever gin.
This gin drinks beautifully well-chilled over ice, but when you add a light floral Mediterranean style tonic or even just soda and lemon, Ad Crescendum var Flosferam Native Gin really comes alive.
Underground Spirits recommends a French 75 for this gin and also has this recipe, combining blueberry juice and elderflower liqueur that sounds superb.